Duke Of Earl

Album: Gene Chandler's Greatest Hits (1962)
Charted: 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was first recorded by The Dukays for Nat Records in 1960. Vee Jay Records bought it and had one of their members, Eugene Dixon, change his name to Gene Chandler and take credit for it.
  • The song was not intended to be released with it was first sung: it was a method of doing vocal exercises until Dixon ad-libbed verses one day.
  • The "Duke" is Earl Edwards, the founder of The Dukays.
  • Eugene Dixon got the name Gene Chandler from actor Jeff Chandler.
  • Vee Jay bought the master tapes to Duke of Earl and wanted to release it immediately, but Nat Records did not want the Dukays' name on the record (as "Night Owl" was struggling to make the charts); so, the producers offered Eugene Dixon a choice: Start a solo career with "Duke of Earl" and be replaced as lead singer of the Dukays by a man named Charles Davis, orStay with the Dukays and have Davis start HIS solo career with "Duke of Earl." Chandler chose option #2 with the blessings of the group.
  • Shortly after the release of "Night Owl," Vee Jay Records bought the publishing rights to the song. Its A&R head listened to all the Dukays' tunes and was impressed with "Duke of Earl" to the point of wanting to buy the master and release it as a single right away.
  • "The Girl Is a Devil"/"Big Lie" was the first Dukays single to be released by Nat Records in early 1961, peaking at #64 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart; "Night Owl"/"Festival of Love" was released soon afterward (it barely made it onto the charts).
  • This was one of six songs that the Dukays recorded for Nat Records in 1960. The other five were "The Girl Is a Devil," "Night Owl," "Kissin' in the Kitchen," "Festival of Love," and "The Big Lie." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for above 4
  • Sandwiched between The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock in 1969, Doo-Wop cover band Sha-Na-Na performed to what was left of the crowd on Monday morning. This was one of the songs they played - others included "Jailhouse Rock" and "At The Hop."
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Comments: 17

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 22, 1962, Gene Chandler performed "Duke of Earl" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #20 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, three weeks later it would peak at #1 {for 3 weeks} and it spent fifteen weeks on the Top 100...
    And on the day it peaked at #1 on the Top 100, it also reached #1 {for 5 weeks} on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1962 and 1986 the Chicago native had thirty-four records on the Hot R&B Singles chart, eight made the Top 10 with one reaching #1*, the above "Duke of Earl"...
    Four of his 34 charted records were duets; two with Barbara Acklin and two with Jerry Butler...
    Mr. Chandler, born Eugene Drake Dixon, will celebrate it 81st birthday come next July 6th {2018}...
    * He just missed having a second #1 record when "Rainbow '65" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} in January 1966, the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown.
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkI loved "Duke of Earl" when it was released in early '62. The year 1962 had some giant hits & this was one. I guess it was one of the last "doo-wop" songs. I recall seeing Gene Chandler on TV shows back then with his snazzy cane, shoe-spats, and big black cape. How cool was that??!! Then in the 2000s I watched one of the PBS-TV concerts with Sixties stars. Gene Chandler was in one of the filmed concerts doing "Duke of Earl" walking down the aisle toward the stage in his top hat & tails & cape. So cool!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 4th 1962, "Duchess of Earl" by the Pearlettes entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for a two week stay; peaking at #96...
    It was the quartets only record to make the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 22nd 1962, Gene Chandler performed "Duke of Earl" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 7th 1962, "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 11th it peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on February 11th it also reached #1 (for 5 weeks) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    In 1979 the English doo-wop group The Darts covered it; their version peaked at #6 on the United Kingdom Singes chart...
    Nine years later in 1988 an Australian group named Dukes of Earlwood recorded their version, it peaked at #12 on the RPM Top Singles in Australia...
    Mr. Chandler, born Eugene Dixon, will celebrate his 77th birthday this coming July 6th.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Nyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR-38pqzS38
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Nyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_BbtIsU55Q&feature=related
  • Joel from Halifax, NsCool song. It was interpolated into a Cypress Hill song.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI love it when Gene sings about "my dukedom"....
    heh
  • Vivian from Bradford, VtI've made some observations aboutthis excellent song at http://scrolling.blogs.com/drmetablog/2008/08/duke-duke-duke.html
  • Maggie from Waterford, OhThe movie hairspray was great the songs vocalizing is amazing and you can't help but listen to it
  • Marissa from Is This Optional?, OhI've known this song since I was a kid but ever since I saw the movie "Hairspray" whenever I hear it I find myself wishing I knew how to cha-cha!!! And yes, I am a nerdy freak. Thank you for noticing.
  • Mel from South Australia, Australiaused in the 'decore' shampoo ad on australian television...'de..de..de..decore-re-re...as i....shampoo my hair'
  • Louis Rodriguez from Lancaster, Cai have to agree with omer from winchester,va
    the early 1960's were the best
  • Keith Major from Bristol, EnglandI seem to recall that Darts also recorded this song in the late 1970's.
  • Omer from Winchester, Vathis song reminds me what is was like to be a teenager back in the 60's. it has to be one of my all-time favorite sons. omer middleton winchester virginia.
  • Neville from Perth, Western Australia, Australia:The Pearlettes did an answer song [The Duchess Of Earl] in 1962. It only reached No. 96 on the US top 100.
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